by Emma Sewell
By now you’ve probably braved some shops and started making the dreaded last minute food shopping list for Christmas. You deserve a rest, so we’ve put together a list of our top 5 Christmas books that you can get out of the cupboard every year and pore over to forget the stress.
I think almost everyone knows this tale and those familiar words… “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. They can’t be heard without conjuring an image of a mouse stirring a cup of cocoa… Wait, I might have got that a bit wrong!
It’s the classic tale of a family tucked up in bed on Christmas Eve, when the parents are roused by the sound of clattering in the garden and discover St. Nick has made an abrupt landing. It’s a lovely traditional Christmas story to share with the whole family. I can’t help but wonder if the modern version would be quite as enchanting; dear old St. Nick would probably end up being hauled away for reckless driving!
“You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas…” This one was only released last month but will sure become a ‘Christmas classic’. Written by Matt Haig and illustrated by Chris Mould, it is another amazing story to read with kids in the run up to Christmas.
We follow Nikolas, nicknamed Christmas on account of the day he was born, as he and his little mouse friend try to stay faithful to the things they believe in as they journey to find his father. Rest assured there’ll be snow (lots of snow!), elves and some festive magic thrown in.
Since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol is probably one of the best known Christmas stories around. Ebeneezer Scrooge, a miserly man, is visited by three ghosts who seek to help him change his curmudgeonly ways.
The character has been adapted for several films and television shows over the years, portrayed by many great actors like Michael Caine (Muppets Christmas Carol), Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder’s Christmas Carol), Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, and Michael Gambon (Doctor Who).
Dr. Seuss has to make a festive appearance, even if he is another Scrooge for the season. The Grinch tries to steal Christmas from the people of Whoville, but the residents are filled with Christmas spirit and celebrate anyway. Realising that Christmas is more than just presents and objects he returns everything he stole and is invited to their feast.
Originally the Grinch was black and white with pink eyes, but Seuss’ friend Chuck Jones suggested that he be green for the animated short. Jones also helped out with the writing of the lyrics for “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and was the inspiration for the Grinch’s scheming smile.
Delia Smith’s Christmas/Nigella Christmas
Those who have Saint Delia’s first Christmas cookbook (the best one) will know that it is a must have in your kitchen for the festive season. Especially for people like me who always forget temperature and time per kilo! But, this go-to kitchen essential is no longer in print. Fortunately, you can get Delia’s latest Christmas offering, Happy Christmas, though.
As my favourite cookbook is out of print, this is why I’ve included Nigella too. Full of mouth watering recipes, you’re bound to find some family favourites, and it makes a great gift for those looking for cooking inspiration. At home, we’ve tried marinading our turkey in a bucket a la Nigella… so you should too!